Tuesday 27 October 2020 5:23 pm

Music scouting platform Instrumental secures Tencent backing

A British music scouting firm that uses algorithms to discover new artists is said to have secured fresh investment from Chinese tech giant Tencent.

Instrumental is set to announce the strategic partnership, which will see Tencent take a minority stake in the company, as early as tomorrow, Sky News reported.

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The deal will come as a major boost to Instrumental, which uses data analytics to identify unsigned artists with commercial potential.

The London-based firm works with a string of major players in the music industry, including Sony and Live Nation.

But the tie-up with Tencent will enable the company to cash in on the lucrative Chinese music market.

According to the report, the deal will include an alliance with Tencent Music Entertainment that will benefit the roster of artists licensing tracks onto Instrumental’s Frtyfve label and publishing arm.

Instrumental was founded in 2016 by former Warner Music Group executive Conrad Withey and Abi Hanna.

The company has secured backing from Warner Music, as well as business incubator Blenheim Chalcot.

Its business model has drawn comparisons with the bestselling book Moneyball, which tells the story of baseball executive Billy Beane, who used data to scout undiscovered talent.

Instrumental has also capitalised on the growing popularity of streaming services such as Spotify, which have fuelled a sharp increase in the number of independent artists and challenged the might of the big four record labels.

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The deal also marks the latest effort by Tencent to expand its presence in the global music market.

A consortium led by the Chinese tech giant last year took a 10 per cent stake in Universal Music Group, and is reportedly looking to increase its shareholding to as much as 20 per cent.

Instrumental has been contacted for comment.